The 2013 Share Challenge – The Next Chapter

Share!HOW is the space cleaning and life renewing task going?  By being better organized you will reduce stress, save money and contribute to the needs of others.  There is nothing that brings more calm to my life than being free of clutter.  It saves time because I can quickly find what I need to complete any task.   Keep going…you will be glad you did.

When you clear out the clutter, you make room for more important things!

Now let’s begin the next chapter of the 2013 SHARE! Challenge

Think about some lovely quiet evenings…You and your significant other…a nice glass of wine…the kids tucked into bed or watching a movie…long talks about ideas and dreams and long trips to foreign places when you retire…your hopes for your children and exploring their talents and weak spots…your hopes for their education and for their places in the big world!
All important, all need to be done, all about looking into the future and planning for the best that can be for your family!
Then, SHARE!  your plans and ideas with your children.  Not in one big event, but over weeks and months and years.  “Here is what we hope for our future and yours.”   SHARE! your tragedies and triumphs and your stories with your kids!   “This is how I decided what to do with my life.”  “Mom and I will go to Paris when we are 65!”  “This is the story of how lost I was when my boyfriend dumped me for my roommate.”  By sharing your history you help them understand how life works.  Why we can’t have everything we want.  Why we have to choose if we want to reach our goals, if you want to go to college, if Dad and I want to retire someday.

The other side of planning is preparing for the “what if’s” of life.

Before age 30 I was widowed with a young child, a few months later, when I met my future husband for the first time, he was also young and widowed.   We were thankful to have found each other and married the following year.  Because of our unusual experiences for our age, we know to take nothing for granted and to BE PREPARED.  Long range planning and preparedness is a very positive way to care for your family.  TO PREPARE IS TO SHARE!

It is time to write a will.

And it isn’t about the money.   Instead, it is telling your kids and relatives, that you have made plans that will keep your family SAFE if you are no longer alive.  Tell your children where they will live and who will take care of them.  Share what your hopes and dreams are for them if you are not alive, and that you have planned to help them reach those goals even if you are not there with them.   This is also about teaching your children about the one part of life that we will ALL face, and that is death.  It is preparing them for the “what ifs”.  It is telling your children that you have prepared for all the possibilities.  The good and the bad!

Don’t be afraid of the word death.  Do you have trouble even saying it? Or thinking about it?  Let’s begin by confronting that fear.  Here is one easy way to begin…
In nearly every community you will find cemeteries.  They often are meticulously maintained, quite beautiful, decorated for special holidays, and contain some of the most beautiful statuary you can find in town.  Visit them with your children…Not gruesome at all!  In fact interesting!  Military heroes may be buried there, as well as founders and leaders of your community, and you will find interesting and historical information written on tombstones.  Cemeteries are conversations starters for your family no matter what age your kids might be.  If family members are buried there, that presents an opportunity to start sharing family stories with your children.  How you remember grandma and where she came from, her home you used to visit, how a member of your family fought in WWII, or helped to build the library in town.  It is a way to begin thinking and talking about death and life!  My kids call it, “visiting the dead relatives”.  This is just one way to begin the dialog about death and dying with your children in a non-threatening way, in a beautiful place.  It opens the door to presenting new thoughts and words.   It is just one way to help your children see the full circle of life.

After all, your goal as parents is to raise responsible adults, right?

Begin your long range family planning today.  Start thinking, start talking about the future.   Ask your parents, siblings, and friends about the plans they have made for their families and their future.  Start the conversation, the struggling, the debate about these hefty decisions.   Begin to plan!  Find a lawyer and prepare a will.

You have eight months remaining in 2013 to write your will…start NOW…this will be the best gift you will ever give your family… WHAT A GREAT WAY TO BEGIN 2014!

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